TODAY is one of the most important dates in the Nationalists’ calendar.
It is not the anniversary of Winne Ewing’s election to parliament. Nor is it the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath or the Battle of Bannockburn – 19 July happens to be Nicola Sturgeon’s birthday – a red letter day if ever there was one for those wedded to the independence cause. Drumlanrig knows it is impolite to refer to a lady’s age, but this year’s celebration is bound to be very special.
Sturgeon is 45 today – a number which we all know resonates very strongly with independence supporters. The number now has a deep symbolism after last year’s referendum, which saw a 45 per cent vote for Yes.
A relationship not to be sniffed at…
THE SNP’s Angus Robertson was in good form when he addressed a Westminster dinner last week. Organised by the Scottish Parliamentary Journalists’ Association, Robertson paid tribute to departing spin-doctor Kevin Pringle. Robertson said he often listened to the spinner briefing journalists over the phone and marvelled at his “patience”.
Reflecting on his own relationship with the fourth estate, Robertson added: “It is confusing for me, because they always say the relationship is the dog and the lamp-post and I’m a politician who is still in the NUJ. I can’t quite work out, who is peeing on who?”
Angus’s musical skills fall short of Queen
Meanwhile, Robertson also revealed how much he enjoyed meeting the Queen guitarist Brian May when the musician was campaigning against foxhunting last week. As a true fan (he has all the Queen albums), Robertson was somewhat star-struck.
Robertson, however, overcame the temptation to describe his own musical accomplishments to the pop star. Robertson has two albums to his credit.
The first was when he contributed to a Save the Children charity record of Scottish songs and traditional melodies compiled by his friend Kevin McKidd, the actor and singer from Elgin.
That effort, said Robertson, was “not totally embarrassing”. Unlike his debut album recorded when he was growing up in Germany in the 1970s. Apparently, Robertson was the star of a German road safety album, which included “the very attractive ditties” My Way To School and Green And Red. «
Minister gets catty with wimpy hacks
A GROUP of hacks were on a trip to London to update their contacts books last week. One of the UK government ministers the journalists met was Desmond Swayne, the dapper and quintessential Tory.
During a briefing, Swayne, the new minister for international development, regaled the journalists with stories of his time at St Andrews University with Alex Salmond. Swayne boasted of beating Salmond in a student referendum, adding that the former SNP leader was a bit “slimmer” in those days.
Clearly a feisty individual, Swayne was disappointed that he did not get a rougher journalistic inquisition. “You were pussies,” was Swayne’s parting shot as he left the briefing room.